Jodhpur – India’s Blue City

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DB: The aesthetics of architecture within a society not only reveal the communities interpretation of what is considered beautiful or pleasing in appearance but also differentiates between what is considered sacred or important. The symbolic significance of aesthetics in colors, designs and a place of residence can be indicative of socioeconomic standing is within society and what the community values.  Jodhpur, India is well known for the beautiful wave of blue houses that dominate the landscape of a rather dry region. However, it is believed that these blue houses originally were the result of ancient caste traditions. 

 

Brahmins (who were at the very top of the caste system) housed themselves in these “Brahmin Blue” homes to distinguish themselves from the members of other castes. Now that the Indian government officially prohibits the caste system, the use of the color blue has become more widespread. Yet Jodhpur is one of the only cities in India that stands steadfast to its widespread aesthetics obsession with the color blue which is making it increasingly unique, creating a new sense of communal solidarity among its residence.

 

Questions to Consider: How has color influenced the cultural geography of this area?  How are the aesthetics of this community symbolic of India’s traditional past, present and possible future?

 

Tags: South Asia, culture, housing, landscape, unit 3 culture.

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